Paris Portingale

The death by a thousand new years

PP

One New Year’s Day (not tomorrow otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this – that’s called logic) I lacerated my hand rather badly and ended up in Emergency at a hospital.

I won’t tell you how I did it because it’s rather embarrassing, but, well OK, it involved the new drill I got from my wife for Christmas and my experiment with attaching to it the full variety pack of 20 assorted-sized Stanley Knife blades I got from my brother-in-law, Ray. (yes, that brother-in-law.)

To pass the time while I was waiting in Emergency, it started to occur to me how uncomfortable the ‘Death Of A Thousand Cuts’ would be, something I hadn’t considered before. I started to make a list of other deaths you could possibly attach to ‘The Death Of A Thousand…’ I came up with the following before blood-loss took its toll and I collapsed into unconsciousness.

  • Death Of A Thousand Cuts
  • Death Of A Thousand Cats
  • Death Of A Thousand Discussions With My Brother-In-Law
  • Death Of A Thousand Deaths

Thinking about the list as it stands, I would imagine the ‘Death Of A Thousand Deaths’ would have to be the worst, although how it would actually work escapes me at the moment.

Me being in the Emergency Department of a hospital is nothing unusual. New Year’s Day is traditionally a busy time for hospitals. Activity usually starts about 9.30am once people begin regaining consciousness and start getting over their disbelief at what they did the night before. When reality finally takes hold and people come to realise the blood over the walls and ceiling is actually theirs, it’s off to emergency to join the queue of fellow casualties.

I remember from my aforementioned New Year’s morning in casualty, an entertaining conversation between a clearly very hungover woman holding a pregnancy tester, and her six year old daughter. It went something like this:

Mummy, why was that man wearing lipstick?”

Shoosh Megan.”

“What was it he told the doctor he’d put up his bottom?”

“Megan, keep your voice down.”

“But what did he say it was?”

“A crystal decanter stopper, and please keep your voice down.”

“Why did he put a crystal decanter stopper up his bottom?”

“I have no idea. Maybe his friend over there told him to do it.”

“Why would his friend tell him to put a crystal decanter stopper up his bottom?”

“Possibly because he’s a disgusting pervert.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

Why would he be a disgusting pervert.”

“Keep your voice down, Megan.”

“But why would he be a disgusting pervert?”

“I don’t know, I suppose God just made him that way.”

“Why would God make him that way?”

The mother sighs, looks at the pregnancy tester, and says, “Nobody knows why God does anything, Megan.”

“Why?”

“Because he works in mysterious ways.”

“Why?”

“Nobody knows that either.”

“Will he ever tell us why he works in mysterious ways?”

“Possibly, when we get to heaven.”

“But what if you’re not going to heaven, like you said uncle Patrick wasn’t?”

“Megan, keep your voice down.”

“Why isn’t uncle Patrick going to heaven?”

“You’re not old enough to understand.”

“Mummy, there’s that man again, and look, he’s got the crystal decanter stopper.”

Paris Portingale

Paris Portingale is a writer and dog owner. While having a somewhat indifferent attitude towards abstemious self-restraint, he does follow the safe guidelines of four standard drinks a day, although his standards are a great deal higher than most, certainly the medical profession’s. Paris is visited often in the night by God, and the meetings are anything but pleasant.

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